The Confusion of Our Burning World

Man.

The world we live in right now is incredibly heavy, it is on fire – literally and figuratively.

It is really hard to know what to do. What is real, what is media fabricated. It is hard to know how to help, how to stand up for justice. And for a lot of really sensitive people it doesn’t even feel safe to do so.

The world we are living in needs help. I am doing my own educating, uneducating, sorting through and trying to make sense of all that we are experiencing and it is not easy.

Conversations are strained, people are furious and there are a lot of reasons to be. I used to live in St. Paul, and I see my old digs burning and destroyed. Where I live now we are on curfews and threats of bombs and terrorist activity is landing in my current home town.

My heart aches for all of humanity.

I know I want to do something, but I have no idea what that thing is, and neither do a lot of other people.

We are yearning for connection and love in a world that is, right now, encouraging isolation and destruction. We are seeing police states and talk of tracking of citizens.

And people are screaming. Screaming their opinions, screaming with violence and anarchy. Screaming so loud it is difficult to have a conversation, to talk about the truth, to stay with an open heart and mind. Even among friends.

Through the confusion I come back to my core belief. Love will heal. I don’t mean romantic ooey gooey love, I mean the gritty consuming love for humanity that needs to take place. I mean the standing up peacefully to have your voice heard. I mean the refusal to isolate from your friends and neighbors so that we can pull back down the barriers that keep civility at bay.

When I get overwhelmed into inaction I remind myself that sometimes love starts small. It starts with what you can do right now. Maybe that means donating time or money to a good cause. Maybe that looks like engaging in a conversation with a stranger until they relax enough to laugh and put down their wall of fear that is keeping them from connection.

I don’t know much right now, but I do know that we need to rise above fear, speak out our truths and let love surround us all.

You are loved here. Every one of you. ❤ ❤

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Paradox

I have never felt like I belonged in this world. It has always been a bit difficult to keep my feet tethered to the ground. Sometimes I am so in my head that I forget where I am and what I am doing and I can lose long spaces of time. I go somewhere that is deeper than myself. Maybe it’s a meditative state or some other brain wave than what we normally survive in. For me it feels a little like being high.

I have always felt that there was something not quite “right” about me. I don’t make connections with people often, I don’t feel things like other people do. I am a pool of paradox. I don’t connect often but it is all I long for and when I do connect I want to be completely engrossed. I feel nothing from most people but I feel too much to be comfortable in the world. I am addicted to love and finding love but my heart does not easily open. I am broken but whole. I am confident and uncertain. I am the deepest depths of love and the darkest of fears. I am sad and joyful. Dark and light. I am all things. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Everyone seeks belonging. For me I have never felt like I belonged anywhere. I was never “home,” instead a perpetual wanderer with a hole the size of Texas in my heart. I would go down these rabbit holes to see what fit. I found a little part of me in the Myers-Briggs test, I found pieces of me in a group of forward thinkers, I found lots of parts of me in the people who were going through struggles and hardships.

I recently took a peek at the enneagram (at the very basic it is a method for personality typing, but it’s much deeper than that) after listening to a podcast (Unlocking Us) with Brene Brown and Chris Heuertz. A good friend of mine LOVES the enneagram. It has given her a much clearer understanding of herself and a tremendous amount of comfort. For me it was much the opposite initially. The first time I took the test I came up a 4. I read a little bit about it and yeah, it fit well enough but I had little tolerance for being stuffed into yet another box, it’s never that simple with me. Along comes this podcast and they were talking about each of the personality types and the struggles that each has and why they suffer like they do. As I was listening there was a paradoxical awakening and joy at finding more bits of me and a deep sinking as I realized I suffered like ALL of the numbers. Every single hardship that was talked about, all of the ways to feel inadequate…. I felt all of them. Viscerally. They say there is often a number that you resonate most with and yes, a four was a punch in the gut, but the rest…. all of them sliced my heart. So I took the test again and while I scored highest as a four…… I tied for almost all of the rest of the types.

I have always felt like I have lived a lot of lives. Lots of people tell me I am an old soul. I have been through wars and famine and all kinds of things. I don’t know how I know this, I just do. So as these types were being explained and I was checking all of the boxes I felt at first, that maybe I was just plain crazy and actually mentally ill. Maybe I actually had a BUNCH of different personalities! And then I laughed and remembered this is a human construct to try to understand people… and we all have a little bit of all of these personalities in us. And me being balanced across them all meant not only that I have the capacity for all of the gifts that these types have to offer, but it also means that I can connect and empathize with most people.

As I move further and further from the life I am currently living, and start to align my inner world with my outer one, I am starting to see these things about me that I have always shunned as actually really powerful.

I DON’T fit in boxes. I am not able to be “figured out” by many because I haven’t even figured myself out. I will never be exactly what anyone thinks I should be.

And I am okay with that. I am better than okay. I don’t fit, and that…. that “brokenness,” that estrangement…. it makes me really valuable. As I am not like anyone, I am also like everyone. I fit with no one and everyone at the same time.

As I look back on patterns in my life and the relationships that I have had I realize that anyone who I have let close to me has been able to use me as a catalyst for some really life altering changes in their life. I mean, really big. Sometimes I come in like a wrecking ball. I see what people aren’t saying and I excavate it and gently brush the dirt off and sometimes violently encourage people in moving. I haven’t known this was what was happening and now that I am recognizing these situations I am better able to adjust a little more patiently and lovingly. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I wreck shop, but we always survive. There is always growth and movement.

As I sit with my own broken heart I am tempted to fall back into the darkness, to latch onto my suffering but I realize that in this moment I can choose a different road. I can see that what I have been through and what I am going through is all in preparation for whatever is next, whatever is better and more elevated. I am growing. In the depths of despair I am growing stronger and more resilient. I am finding my voice and using it. I am finding love in myself and showering me with it. From little niceties to kicking my ass into doing what NEEDS to be done for my future self, I am doing things different. That is really all anyone can do. Be better. Choose different.

As Chris Heuertz says, “[about fours] are misunderstood and they get bullied in the literature because they are sort of hard to wrap our minds around in terms of character structure but this is the person who has this ache within them that they don’t know where they fit in. They don’t know where they belong…. There can be a deep sadness and ache and longing and yearning that brings meaning to the fours…. When the fours are seeing beauty in everything what they are simply trying to do is see an echo back inward. If I can find what’s fabulous about this person, this meal, this environment, this song, maybe I will pull that thread all the way inward and see, maybe there is something like that here… There is a lot of shame that drives the ego structure of the four.”

As Brene continued they talked of terminal uniqueness. Bullseye.

As for the strengths, “The fours bring equanimity, emotional balance of being able to live on the spectrum of highs and lows, joys and sorrows without over identifying with any of it, and finding the beauty in all of it, and fours will see that for us and in us.”

I don’t really think there is anything more beautiful than that.

Embrace who you are. See the things that you don’t love about yourself as assets and contributions to your own uniqueness. These are the things that make up your song, your dance. These are the things that, when accepted and integrated, will change the world. ❤ ❤

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Rawness

Sometimes I am pulled from a deep sleep, into my conscious mind, by this cavernous, unrelenting pain.

It isn’t physical pain. It is pure emotion. It is all of the things I keep myself from feeling during the day, all of the hurts and arguments and fear that I have logged into the tiny crevices of my body. It is as if my body gives up in sleep sometimes. It puts the shields down for a second, trying to get some precious rest. When those shields are down I wake up in a place that is unlike any other. It is dark and empty and from the oozing volcanic ground erupt these black demons that seem to be made of tree branches covered in tar. Their fingers are long and sticky and their eyes glow red and they grab for my neck. Their bodies are hollow and I can see through them to past versions of me, future potentials of me, bits and snippets of centuries lived. They attach themselves to me and we start to sink downward….

Down, down, down

Until the only things left are the tips of my fingers reaching for the sky. Panic on my face as the ooze starts to invade my nostrils and I begin to choke.

Sobbing and gasping for breath I find myself once again in my room. Fingernails biting into flesh so hard that I am brought back to this plane of existence.

The only thing in the room with me then is my own choking fear.

This is what the bottom feels like. This is what being stripped of your flesh one cell layer at a time feels like. This is the point where people give up on life.

And I completely understand why.

Living takes guts. Living takes looking those demons in the face and saying “not now, motherfuckers” and it is coming back to face them with tools and an uncertain readiness to take them on. Living is not backing down, even when you feel so tired that any breath could… happily… be your last. Living takes grit and courage and determination.

Living takes a tremendous amount of faith. Faith that even though you’ve never felt love, love exists for you, inside of you.

And when you realize that you are the one who powers your life, that you are the keeper of all of the love that you need, that you are a badass warrior that has survived eons of violence and discrimination… that is when you can fully live.

Being human is boundless joy and the most wretched rawness imaginable and it is everything in between. It is full spectrum. And when those demons are quieted and boundaries set and patterns broken, there is a soft warmth of healing that sits in the chest and you know, without a doubt, that you are free. ❤ ❤

Image by Josch13 from Pixabay

The Path of Healing


A beautiful friend of mine reminded me the other day that healing was not a linear path.

I am reminded of this today.

Healing requires repair, regrowth, rebirth.

Sometimes healing is the warmth of the sun and the feel of the breeze as it tickles the finest hair on your skin. It is comforting like a warm embrace of a loved one.

Sometimes healing is walking into an ocean of demons and slaying them one by one as they come to pull you under.

Healing is not linear. It can be all of those things all at the same time.

It is a path that winds and turns and there are boulders and fire ants but also the most pristine clear pools of water that exist on this earth. It is flying through the stars and laughing with the moon and tempting the devil to touch you.

The last week has been very raw. My skin has been stripped away and each moment has been pure acid.

And I am reminded also, that the path I travel is also a choice. I can let myself be pulled under by latching on to all of the bad things I find which in turn amplifies that darkness, or I can find the smallest particle of light and focus all intention on that and amplify that.

When you have grown up in darkness the natural thing to do is reach out for that comfort of what surrounds you. The effort it takes to sort through the ashes and find the tiniest glowing ember is monumental at times. But once that ember is found and breath laid upon it and the glow intensifies until a fire is burning once again…. that… this is healing.

Sometimes healing is a gentle exhale. It is a reminder that you are strong. That you have been through darkness before, but that you have also experienced light and will do so again. It is realizing you have choices, you have power and whatever decisions you make, even if they are the unexpected are never wrong because they lead you somewhere. Somewhere with more wisdom so that the next choice can be made and the next and the next.

Healing is trusting that all of these decisions are leading somewhere bigger than this moment. It is trusting yourself. It is the gentle blush of intuition that lands in the heart.

We are not born broken. We are cracked and open to bloom and bend and shift and constrict with all of the moments in our life. We break, so that we can rebuild. We buckle under the weight so that we can make a stronger foundation.

We survive. We heal. We thrive. ❤ ❤

Image by Захари Минчев from Pixabay

Fighting Complacency

What happens when the fire starts to fade? When the oxygen runs out?

When there is no longer a blaze and there are simply ashes to sift through that is when the “fun” begins. I have been burning a fire for weeks (if you don’t know what the fuck I am talking about read this). This pandemic has caused stress in ways that I didn’t realize I could even be stressed. One thing has become VERY clear. I am the only one that will take care of myself in the way and capacity that I need to be cared for. And placing my needs on other people, especially during this time, is unfair. The pressure of this situation has forced a long, hard look at what serves my life and what doesn’t and in that way has been a tremendous catalyst for change.

With the fires burning down and me making shifts in my life, just the coals remain. Red hot and waiting for fuel. As I sift through what is left, the thought patterns that are still present, the open loops that need tending to and the relationships that have survived there is a constant re-evaluation of what is and isn’t serving a higher vision.

For a while, when the fire is burning hot and there is the power of conviction there is this euphoria that accompanies KNOWING what is right. For me, that feeling lasted about a week. It was awesome. And then the fire slowed and I was left with situations that were less black and white. Situations where there are people involved that I really care about so setting these relations aflame didn’t feel particularly empowering. I became complacent very quickly. I was holding on to outdated relationships. Ones that were not evolving in a way that I needed them to. That old feeling of the tension of knowing there are truths to be uncovered still, started to fester and I realized in a few ways I was still walking away from this person that I was trying to be.

It is no secret here that Mr. X has been fantastically important in my life. That our relationship is the catalyst for all of the change that occurred in the last year. I keep improving, very much because of how he sees me, not as I am, but beyond the surface to the best parts of me. Skillfully he has teased them out and I love him so much for playing that role in my life. It has been exceedingly hard to let him go. I have held on to this notion that we are meant to be, that we are soul mates. But he has a woman next to him already. So I have been forced to look at other options.

I have known from the very beginning, when there was a recognition of feelings, that I needed to be the one to say, “nope, I deserve someone of my own.” I have not been strong enough to do that, the thought of losing him far too hard to accept.

Until this week.

When the fire burned down and our relationship was put under the microscope I realized just how much of myself I was giving away to him. I did it under the guise that he really loves me and wants to be with me but is so ingrained in his current life that it just isn’t possible. So we would be friends, and that was that. But I have known since that was first suggested that I was not able to be friends. Not now, maybe not ever, in the capacity that he wants. I have tried… fuck I have tried. But seeing him, his arm wrapped around another woman, caused me to fall on my knees in ugly sobs. It doesn’t feel fair that I cannot have the one man that I feel was made for me, of me, my lock and key. I realized how much I was waiting around for him, how much I was quieting myself and making myself small, biding my time, hoping he would come around. Maybe he will in time, probably, he won’t.

So when the smoke cleared I saw us in a new light. I saw me, unwavering in not abandoning myself yet still acting complacent. I felt just how heavy that was. Tragic romances are just that… tragic. They are the thing of books and love poems. At some point I realized I am tired of living tragedies. I want to LIVE. With someone. Someone to adventure with, someone whose touch melted me, someone who brings out the goofy, lighthearted, kid that is so tightly in check. Mr. X is all those things. I would give a lot to be with him.

But I will no longer give myself up. I don’t fit into the box that our relationship has become. I could no longer feel happiness that he was happy with someone else, even though I want him to be happy.

The truth is, I want him to be happy… with me.

Jealousy, anger, resentment… all these things came boiling up. Old me would have tamped them down and let them fester in my heart. New me listened to them screaming that this wasn’t okay.

So I did the hardest thing. The thing that I have known needed to happen so we can walk forward.

I let him go. Like really…. let him go. I blocked him on social media, removed FaceBook from my phone and sat with the overwhelming emotions that followed.

You know how I know that doing something hard was still a good move? The same joy I felt with the big burn was still present underneath the pain. It wasn’t loud and cheering for me, but if I listened beyond the anguish it was there, like an autumn breeze, delicate and light. Weight came off my chest and for the first time in a few months I felt free.

I would like to think that I am capable of becoming friends. I am not a person that can really fake it for very long. I can say I am glad he is happy with his current lot in life, but if I don’t actually feel it, it is just dishonest and I can’t live long in that space.

I realized that is what we were doing. I was lying that I was okay with his situation and us being friends. He was beating down that fact that he is in love with me so he could stay in his ecosystem that in so many ways has defined his life up to now. He was doing so at the cost of me. Of our friendship. And ultimately at the cost of himself. As someone who really loves him, I’m not okay with that.

So I chose different. I chose myself.

Loving someone isn’t always flowers and chocolates. It is doing what is really fucking hard sometimes.

It feels indescribably cruel to do this to him right now, when there is so much stress in this world. When I had become his confidante about a few big things in his life. But it was putting me in a position where I felt I would come in and support him, he would let his feelings bloom and then would have to beat them down and would completely disappear for days at a time. I would see him posting on FB and wondering why, if I was so special to him, were my messages being unanswered. I tell myself it is because he loves me too much. That is the best feeling option. Internally I felt abandoned, left behind, it felt dishonest and in some ways like my support and love was being taken for granted.

So, I have been forced to look at what this means for us. How I go about having a friendship, is that something that I am even capable of right now? It has also forced me to realize that maybe he is a “soul mate” but that doesn’t necessarily mean we get forever. Maybe his role in my life is complete and we should part ways for good. Maybe our paths cross once again.

Sometimes I get messages about the future. They come in the most bizarre of ways. I know his role in my life isn’t finished. I know I want him as a partner. I also know things rarely show up as we intend them too, maybe our partnership will flourish from a distance. I have never dreamed of a life with someone. I was not one of those girls that sat around dreaming up Mr. Right. I just knew when I had a certain feeling, a feeling I never experienced with anyone else, I would just…know. And I did with him. When we first met there was just love and purity and innocence and complete adoration. He is the only man that I dared to dream a future with. The only one whose touch didn’t feel like a thousand tiny needles on my skin. The only one who ever looked at me with a tenderness in his eyes that rendered me speechless and melted my heart into a puddle.

I want that again.

This space we created was not clean. And we were both trying to fit in it for the other person. For over a year there has been great love, but also great pain, agony, suffering. Less innocence and tenderness as time passed. Neither one of us can last without honesty for long. But we put ourselves aside. We laid down our truths, the things we knew, the things we wanted to be and tried to squeeze into a box that didn’t fit. We did this for each other, there is no greater love than that, right?

Wrong. Letting go so that you can both have the room to breathe and flourish, that… that is a greater sign of love and respect. Even though it hurts like a motherfucker.

There is no medal for being a martyr. No trophy for self sacrifice. There is only the weight on the chest of unanswered knowing. The suffocation of not being free. He is not free in his current life and that is something only he can adjust. But he wasn’t free with me either, and that one I can fix.

I hope he realizes it was an act of love. For both of us.

It is easy to become complacent after a massive fire. To let the gray areas slip the face of judgement. To sacrifice a small piece of you because it is that… small… but when it comes to the heart, even a small piece carries the weight of the world. Those have to be tended to as much as any other. There is a sometimes ruthless destruction that occurs, but it is a requirement. A requirement to see clearer, to feel clearer, to be… more oneself.

Poke around the coals. Know that losing yourself is the biggest tragedy of all and make adjustments. Be a warrior. Hunt down anything that is holding you back. Be savage and wild. Be a predator in your own life. Know it will hurt, but take heart in the understanding that the reward on the other side… that coming back to you… that is… priceless.<3 ❤

Image by Tobias Heine from Pixabay

A Slow Burn

It’s really interesting to see what happens when one area of your life catches on fire.

When you suddenly realize the things you thought and clung to no longer serve any purpose. When you realize the skin of the person that you are is ready to be shed.

When you refuse to settle.

After my last post I stepped the fuck up for my life. I refused to take anyone’s leftovers. I refused to sit and watch the life I wanted pass me by and I refused to play second string to any man.

And with that a fire was lit. I realized I didn’t have to sit on that damn porch, that I didn’t need a man to complete me cause I was whole as I was. I realized that everything that I thought about my life, about sacrificing for others, about quieting my needs to make people more comfortable, about what we are told success and family look like…. all of it was bullshit.

I realized I was holding on to a lot of really outdated thoughts. Thoughts that didn’t serve me or anyone else in my life because they were shackling me to a version of myself that no longer fit.

And in that moment a whole other world opened up. A world where I was no longer okay settling, and it became pretty easy to let go. A world where if something didn’t feel quite right I could honor that and examine it and see what the underlying statement was and if that didn’t fit I could question it and change it. This is a world where I believe in and trust myself. A world where I listen to my body, and started to honor it as the receiving antenna that it is.

I can feel it all burning. All of the old thoughts, old patterns, the indecision about parts of my life, the willingness to pander to other people. It is a fire that some days makes me feel like I am crawling out of my skin and other days feels like the most empowering place I could ever be.

How/why did this all happen?

I was sitting at home, chatting up a male friend via text. He is married and we have had a friendly professional relationship. And then… those words popped up on my screen. Words that make my stomach sink and my skin crawl…. “I’m bored. Come play with me.” Even typing those I can feel the anger rising. Who the fuck does he think he is that he can solicit THAT from me? This all happened in a split second but time was slowed way down and with that one simple text I saw my whole life and relationships with men VERY clearly. I have always allowed this behavior. I have felt I wasn’t good enough or deserving enough to have a man of my own. I felt like I was good at making men happy and if single men couldn’t see that and the married men did then that was my lot in life. And as all of this came flooding in this banshee started screaming inside of me. FUCK THIS. And just like that I was done. Done with all this bullshit. Done sitting around and waiting on someone who is already taken. Done loving men who won’t ever love me back. Done pushing myself down so that they could stand on top of me and get their boost up. Done putting my needs and wants and desires to the side.

D.O.N.E.

The guy who texted me that got a response back that was clear, but kind. The woman inside of my was spitting mad. Absolutely fucking raging that a man would have the audacity to think I was someone he could just summon, someone who would keep her mouth shut and give herself to him for his pleasure. And I realized it wasn’t his fault… because that is the person I have been. The person I have projected to men. I have let a lot of people tell me what was best for me and my life.

This particular situation took about two days to burn off and I haven’t been the same since. I started putting boundaries where they are needed. I started to care less about other people and focus more on how I felt. I stopped obsessing over Mr. X and what he was up to and when I realized he was choosing to stay in an environment that no longer suited his growth, I stepped back and realized it wasn’t my circus. He doesn’t need to be saved any more than I do. And that saving has to come from within…. and I am done helping other people up before I help myself up.

Does this mean I am spitting this fire into the world? No. I am still responding in a way that serves kindness and love, but my voice is becoming louder and more firm. And I fucking love it. I am approaching things with curiosity and openness but an unwillingness to sacrifice myself. If something doesn’t fit the vision of who I truly aim to be, then it goes.

This is not just in the area of relationships but also work and my health. I stopped making excuses for how my body was feeling and started doing something about it. I went out and ran until the sweat poured off and it felt good and I realized I NEED that for my body to thrive. When that old voice stepped in and said let’s go back to bed, the new one came in and said no. I am choosing me, over and over and over again and anything that is holding me back is being released. It’s beautiful and brilliant and messy and I am awful at it right now, but it is mine and it is me and it feels fucking good. It feels alive.

I feel alive.

It hasn’t been easy. It will continue to not be easy but I know over time it will become less hard and those decisions that are made in support of me will become more common than those that don’t. And so the purge has started. All of the people, things, events that don’t support me… they are being burned and anyone that stands in the way better prepare to walk through fire.

Finding oneself through the noise of the world is no easy task, but once the door is opened and the first steps taken, there is no turning back.

And that is the most beautiful gift you can give yourself. ❤ ❤

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Letter To A Lover

I’m hurting really fucking bad right now. Waves so thick they threaten to pull me under.

You asked me what I wanted…

I want you. All of you that is meant for me. I want your hands on my face while you kiss me. And I want to be kissed. Passionately and often. I want to be able to experience what’s in your heart for me. I want to be in your arms at night. I want to be able to love you, freely and openly and for you to be able to do the same.

I miss you so much right now it is as if I am being torn apart from the inside out. Like some drug crazed lunatic is digging its way out of my chest.

It’s as if I walked a million miles without shoes, on a road paved in glass shards and arrived at a house that has my name on the door. It’s very warm and inviting inside. My key fits perfectly and I go to push the door open and you are there and you hug me and I am home. I can rest here. You take me on a brief tour of the house and I see the refrigerator is stocked with beautiful produce and life giving food and there are puppies in the backyard and a bed that is as soft as the muzzle of a newborn foal and it wraps me in it and covers me and my tired heart is full for a second and I see you are smiling and full too. And then you remember you already let someone live in the house and your eyes harden and you look away from me because she is coming down the hall and you explain to her that I am the one whose name is on the door so you are letting me in but she says the only place I am welcome is on the front porch. So you gently push me out the door. The lock clicking behind me.

Sometimes you open a window and talk to me that way and for a while you were coming outside to sit with me, but I always asked you why I can’t come into my home. And you tell me it’s because you already built a life there. It seems very unfair because I have been searching my whole life for this house and my key fits and I am very tired. But I say it’s okay, I know what’s important to you, you should have your life I close the door and I sleep outside and I think that I am a good woman because I am sacrificing for you. And I say I don’t want you to give up your life even though you told me you are overwhelmed and falling despite your happy face.

Your silence says more than your words and I feel you longing and holding back and boxing yourself in so you don’t wreck what’s inside the house. We don’t need to talk to communicate but I yearn for your words to wrap me up and fold me in your love.

Sometimes you come and nap with me on the porch. And you tell me your house will never be the same now that I came and I know much of the time you want to sit with me, but you don’t. And it hurts. I watch from the outside, loving you and wanting you to be happy but knowing this isn’t sustainable for either of us.

For a while I get used to the front porch and I see you wave as you walk by the window and I wave back and I’m not content but your laugh makes my heart bloom and I love you, so it’s okay. Until one day a man comes up to me and says I can sleep on his porch too. It’s enclosed so it’s a little warmer there but it’s dark and scary and I have to give up my body and my integrity to do so. You’ve never asked me to sacrifice my body, even though I would have given it to you happily. Your touch is the only one that hasn’t made my skin crawl. I say no to this man because I finally realize I don’t need to give myself up to feel a second of connection. I get mad as hell and I run him off the property and I stand in the middle of the road for a minute and my feet are bleeding again and I look back at the house… with my name on it… and I see you through the window, tortured and struggling to breathe, but smiling and I think maybe I should walk off again.

Maybe there is another house for me, my name might be spelled wrong and the bed isn’t as nice but maybe I can make it fit. Or maybe I keep walking and find a way to build my own small house. And I send you a key that you put in a golden box under your bed. Maybe you look at it once in a while and hold it in your hands and feel its warmth and smile sadly in your heart as you put the lid back on and close the box and slide it back under your bed. And I sit on my front porch, the porch I built… and it’s a little wonky and warped but it has soft lights around the top and I can see the mountains and every night I sit out there staring at the stars, waiting for you to walk down the driveway.

Knowing that you won’t.

Maybe there is a man who comes out to sit near me once in a while and he sees the far off look in my eyes and knows my heart is not there but he loves me so he leaves me be and doesn’t say anything because he accepts that there is a part of me that will never be his.

My heart says to go back to the porch and wait a little longer even though I am getting weaker, because maybe someday you will let me build a little house in the backyard and I can have a puppy and you will come out and sit with me more often and we will love each other from afar. And that sounds okay but I know my heart will always want to sleep in that bed, in the house with my name on it. I wonder why I can’t just be happy sleeping in the backyard because I know I am safe there. All I have ever wanted was to feel safe. A good woman stays quiet and accepts what she is given.

My head says to start walking again because I deserve a house of my own, but I don’t know if my body can carry me very far. I know I will have to fight for my life again and while I feel stronger because you have been feeding me a little, I know food will be scarce again. Maybe I will find everything I need along the way. Maybe I’ll make myself a pair of shoes. I’ve done it before. But I know walking means I will never see you again. So I stand in the road with my feet bleeding and my heart breaking, praying like hell that you will open the door and invite me in. And you see the indecision in my heart and you do open the door and you smile and you hold out a pair of shoes. Encouraging me to do what’s best for me, even if it means walking away because you know you won’t ever give me what I am asking for and more than anything you want me to be happy. I walk over and grab them and look into your eyes knowing that you will always be okay even if you are dying inside and I turn away and put the shoes under my pillow and curl up to sleep knowing I am not strong enough to start walking yet and hoping that the storm that’s on the horizon will not be more than I can handle.

All because someone reminded me I was sleeping on a porch. Pining after a man who is loving me, behind a shut door. And I have been sleeping on porches my whole life.

A fire has started inside me. It’s burning all of the things I have known. All of the bullshit meanings of what is it to be a woman. All of the walls I built to make me safe which have actually left me a prisoner. The fire threatens the house. Threatens your life and mine. So I step off the porch. And as my insides burn and writhe in agony I stand calmly, bearing the destruction because I know it will be a rebirth of freedom. For both of us.

I will build my own house of blood, sweat and tears… so many tears. And I will invite others in to see if any fit. I will not settle for less than I deserve anymore. And whoever I am with will have to be okay knowing there will always be a far off universe in my eyes that connects me to your heart. They will never understand and I won’t give anyone an explanation.

But for now… I build. Forged by flames. By myself, for myself. Perfectly imperfect. Messy and disorganized, but pristinely me. ❤ ❤